TORY anti-strike legislation “fails to respect devolution” Scotland’s Wellbeing Economy Secretary has said, as MSPs prepare to debate the Westminster legislation.

The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act, passed earlier this year, limits workers’ right to strike in some public sector jobs like the health service, state schools, the fire brigade and transport.

Education, health, fire and rescue services and some areas of transport are all devolved to the Scottish Parliament. 

The draconian rules were introduced in a bid to curb the powers of trade unions to take disruptive strike action – in light of the highest levels of industrial action in decades seen in recent years.

But it infuriated the Scottish Government, which has tabled a Holyrood motion to say the legislation is “unnecessary, unwanted and ineffective”.

The Act gives employers the right to introduce “work notices” when strikes are called which they can use to mandate workers to cross the picket line and attend work.

READ MORE: Scottish Tory MPs vote to include Scotland in UK anti-strike laws

First Minister Humza Yousaf has previously said the Scottish Government would not issue “work notices” to striking public sector staff.  

Speaking ahead of today’s debate, Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray said: “It is the Scottish Government’s long-standing position that a progressive approach to industrial relations along with stronger – not weaker – protections for workers is at the heart of a fairer society and prosperous economy.

“The UK Government’s Minimum Service Levels Act is unwanted, ineffective and fails to respect devolution.

“We will continue to promote a Scottish approach which recognises that while disputes will occur, they are best resolved in an atmosphere of goodwill.

“We have no intention of asking employers to issue work notices.

“Our motion sends a strong signal that in Scotland, we do things differently. We are intent on building a prosperous, fair economy based on dialogue, not dispute, and collaboration, not confrontation.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: "The purpose of this legislation is to protect the lives and livelihoods of the public and ensure they can continue to access vital public services.

“This Act does not remove the ability to strike, and we understand disruption is inherent to any industrial action, but people expect the Government to act in circumstances where their rights and freedoms are being disproportionately impacted, and that’s what we are doing with this bill.”